Universities Shut Out Conservative Commencement Speakers

AP Photo/MSU/Megan Bean
AP Photo/MSU/Megan Bean

In a chilling reminder that universities across the United States promulgate a one-sided liberal agenda, Young America’s Foundation’s (YAF) annual Commencement Speakers Survey shows how completely universities march in lockstep when they solicit speakers for commencement exercises. The survey, based on analyzing results from the top 100 universities as ranked by US News and World Report, found that the ratio of liberal speakers to conservatives at the top 100 universities was 6-to-1 and among the top 50 universities 9 to 1. Among the top 10 universities, 9 liberal speakers were invited; no conservative was invited.

Among the top 100 universities, only one conservative public policy official, President George W. Bush, was invited to speak, while the list was replete with current Democratic Party officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, Virgina Governor Terry McAuliffe, Senator Michael Bennet, Congressman John Lewis, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Nine Obama administration appointees have been scheduled to speak in 2015; a total of 14 George W. Bush administration officials were invited to speak during the entire eight-year tenure of George W. Bush.

The list contains 147 names, as some universities invited more than one speaker to address the students. Of the 147 speakers, 87 are liberal, with only 14 conservative. 46 were unknown, not announced, or student speakers. One of the speakers deemed conservative was New York Times columnist David Brooks, who was listed as a conservative as he identifies himself as one. Leaving Brooks out, the only universities to invite conservative speakers were:

American University: William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator under George W. Bush; Mark Weinberger, Bush appointee

College of William and Mary: Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State under George W. Bush

Georgetown University: Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush

Notre Dame: Christopher Patten, Conservative party member from the U.K.

Pepperdine University: Brit Hume, Fox News Anchor; Fred Sands, real estate mogul

Purdue University: Mitch Daniels, President, Purdue University

Saint Louis University: Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, vocal opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin

Southern Methodist University: President George W. Bush

University of Connecticut: Michael Mello, Founder, Western Piedmont Metal and United American Steel Company (other three speakers are all clearly liberal)

University of Virginia: Bob Bruner, Darden School Dean

Yeshiva University: Dr. Ruth Wisse, historian and scholar.


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